Santa had every intention of staying on top of the Christmas game this year, especially since little Jonah would be old enough to appreciate a bit more of the joy and toys than his first go round. Last year was all about tearing paper into tiny little shreds and sucking on other people’s ribbons.  But this holiday season, at nearly two, he was really going to get it–maybe not the Jesus-was-born-in-a-manger piece–but certainly the gift-wrapped goodness-under-a light-covered-tree part. As such, Santa really wanted to make it special.

All of the “toy making” for Jonah was done way back in September. His big gift was to be a play kitchen, complete with pots and pans and crates full of wooden food. Jonah has so much fun helping me cook and bake that I thought he should have a work space of his own. And I liked the idea of bending the gender rules just a wee bit. When I found a fabulous navy blue art deco play kitchen on Zullily for $50, I jumped on it. This was in August. When it arrived–in a compact, but immensely heavy box that was a clear indication of some serious assembly required–I immediately tucked it into a closet and forgot all about it. Until December 22nd, when the panic set in. Where in the hell were those Christmas elves when you needed them?

Enter elves…

Well, first I should say “Exit nanny,” because that part is just way too much fun to leave out.

On December 18th, as I was walking out the door to go to work, my nanny informed me that she was going to start looking for a new position for the new year. I was neither shocked, nor disappointed. We, Jonah and I, were ready for a change. “The only thing I ask,” I said, “Is that you give me at least two weeks notice when you find something so that I’m not left high and dry without childcare. I would really like a smooth transition.”

She said nothing.

Until three days later, when she informed me that she had taken another position, and that night, the night of the 21st of December, would be her last shift.

Are you f%ck*ng kidding me?

Ahem.

As I mentioned earlier, enter elves…

The Myers Family took over. Lola babysat for Jonah so I could get my last minute shopping done (and return the nanny’s presents while I was at it). Mama Lyza was Lola’s chauffeur to and from my house, and bartender for Papa Bryan, who really needed a beer or 12 while he and Symon built Jonah’s Christmas kitchen–from the comfort of theirs.

Let me state for the record: I am a lucky woman.

I was a little perplexed when a day later Lyza started praising me “for breaking all the gender rules, all at once. You are AMAZING and I love you,” she said.

Now, Lyza is a woman who used to do things like paint her son Symon’s fingernails and toes when she was giving herself a mani/pedi, and didn’t bat an eyelash when he wanted “to wear a skirt like Lola.” I didn’t really think she would find my choice of a play kitchen for Christmas to be that avant garde–certainly not enough to warrant being repeatedly called AMAZING.

“Look at how cute it is,” she said, showing me pictures of the kitchen in various states of construction, from the gagillion nuts and bolts laid out on a piece of cardboard (a sight that would surely have made me cry if I had to assemble it myself), to the cute little silver nobs, buttons, and doo-dads that made it such a special little piece in the first place. It didn’t really register at first, but by the 4th photo, I looked up at her, puzzled.

“Is that?”

She smiled. Maybe it was a smirk.

“Is that–is it–pink?”

“Mmmhmm.”

“Oh my god!” I burst into a fit of laughter. “It was supposed to be navy blue!”

“I wondered.” Lyza was laughing,too.

“But it’s PERFECT!”

“It is!”

So this Christmas, Jonah’s second Christmas, in the year of we’ll-need-to-see-your-birth-certificate-before-you-can-use-this-restroom, no-we-won’t-bake-your-gay-wedding-cake, and Trump-effing-Pence, Santa brought my two year old son a bubblegum pink kitchen. And I couldn’t be more pleased.

That Santa, she rocks!

(Pics to come, I promise)